The Killers paid tribute to legendary crooner Andy Williams during a concert on Wednesday night (September 26th) by performing a rendition of his classic song Moon River. The band took to the stage at The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles just a day after the veteran entertainer had sadly passed away at the age of 84 following a year-long battle with bladder cancer and, in a nod to the late star, frontman Brandon Flowers serenaded the crowd with the band's own take on the Oscar-winning song.
This isn't the first time that the Mr. Brightside hit makers had performed the seminal Williams track; indeed they first played it last year at London's Hard Rock Calling festival, but it took on a special reverence last night in the wake of the passing of one of the most recognisable voices in music. Williams had been allowed home to Branson, where he'd lived for many years, by doctors in July, so that he could be allowed to spend his final days in familiar surroundings.
The star was at his commercial peak in the 50s and 60s when, in addition to his singing career, he also enjoyed a slot on American TV between 1959 and 1971 where he hosted a weekly variety show.
Andy Williams songs will be played on record players across the globe today, after the effortlessly smooth crooner – best known for his track ‘Moon River’ – died on Wednesday, aged 84.
Williams soothing voice, boyish looks and easy-going demeanour ensured he outlasted many of the rock-stars of the 60’s and 70’s, as well as contemporaries such as Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. For a man who became a major star in the same year as Elvis Presley, Williams enjoyed an astonishing career and remained on the charts well into the 1970s, while continuing to perform into the 1980s at the Moon River Theater that he built in Branson. However, Williams’ television career was equally as commendable and his eponymous show lasted from 1962 until 1971, winning three Emmys along the way. It was on that show that Williams introduced the world to The Osmonds (their young sibling, a certain Donny, made his debut on the show when just 6-years-old). He also booked rock and soul acts, including The Beach Boys, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and Elton John. His attitude to fame was perhaps summed up when he mused “I guess I've never really been aggressive, although almost everybody else in show business fights and gouges and knees to get where they want to be…My trouble is, I'm not constructed temperamentally along those lines,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
Williams never entertained the possibility of retirement and told the Associated Press in 2001, “I'll keep going until I get to the point where I can't get out on stage.” He is survived by his wife Debbie and three children.
Tributes to Andy Williams have been led today by fellow crooner Tony Christie. Andy Williams has died, aged 84, following a year-long battle against bladder cancer. He was best known for his rendition of the song ‘Moon River’ but had many other hits, including ‘Raindrops Are Falling on My Head’ and ‘Music To Watch Girls By.’ Tony Christie told BBC News that Williams was “up there with Sinatra, Bennett,” referring to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. “I enjoyed a chat with him backstage at the Royal Albert Hall some years ago,” Christie added, “and he was a lovely man, very gentle…he was a pleasure to have met.”
Williams’ influence spread far and wide; many of the songs that he recorded and performed have become staples in the musical upbringings of several generations. The composer Don Black, who wrote ‘Born Free’ (another classic Williams track) said that he was the “ultimate professional… He was a great guy, he was very professional but didn't take himself too seriously. That type of performer doesn't exist anymore. It's gradually becoming the end of an era.”
It’s not just Williams’ contemporaries that have been paying tribute to the late singer though; Tim Burgess, the singer of The Charlatans, said “Andy Williams was a real smooth guy, that's for sure. Rest in peace, Andy.” The Radio One DJ Zoe Ball also posted a touching message on her Twitter page, to say “what a chap. May his star always shine bright.”
Andy Williams the legendary crooner has sadly passed away aged 84. The singer famous for hits such as Moon River had been battling bladder cancer for a year and was eventually released from hospital in Los Angeles in July so that he could enjoy his final days at home, as such it was that Williams passed away at his home in Branson, Missouri on Tuesday (September 25th).
The veteran star began his career in the 1930s as part of the Williams Brothers quartet with his three singing siblings before going solo in 1953. It was there that he really took off, becoming best known for his popular renditions of a string of classic songs, including Can't Take My Eyes Off You, Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head, Happy Heart, Can't Get Used to Losing You, and Music to Watch Girls Go By. By the 1960s he was a TV regular and hosted a weekly variety show in the U.S. between 1959 to 1971.
Williams' recording career became less prolific in the 1980s and '90s, yet he enjoyed an unexpected return to prominence in the UK in 2002 when re-recording his classic Can't Take My Eyes Off You as a duet with singer/actress Denise van Outen. He is survived by his second wife Debbie, and his three children by his first wife Claudine Longet.
The legendary crooner Andy Williams has died aged 84. The singer, who was one of the world’s most popular artists of the 1960’s had been battling bladder cancer for a year before he passed away at his home in Branson, Missouri.
He is survived by his wife, Debbie, as well as his three children, Robert, Noelle and Christian. The family have asked that donations are made to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, in lieu of flowers. His death was confirmed by his publicist, Paul Shefrin, CBS News reports.
One of Williams’ signature tunes was the Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini-penned ‘Moon River’ (which featured on the soundtrack to Breakfast At Tiffanys, starring Audrey Hepburn). On Twitter, some fans have paid their respects by quoting the lyrics of the song and bidding ‘farewell’ or ‘rest in peace’ to “our huckleberry friend.” As well as his recording career, Andy Williams became well-known and loved throughout the 1970s and 1980s, for his Christmas TV specials. He was also a regular host of awards shows, such as the Grammys, the Golden Globes and the People’s Choice Awards.
Date of birth
3rd December, 1927
Date of death
25th September, 2012